NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

October 26, 2011

Candy, stencils turn a pumpkin from plain to pretty

Are you afraid to decorate pumpkins because you consider the process messy or even dangerous? There are options for you to enjoy this fun fall activity with your kids.

No-carve pumpkin decorating ideas are kid-safe, creative, and will get your kids excited about pumpkin decorating without all the mess.

What could be more fun for a kid than to decorate a pumpkin with candy? Not only will they be able to eat some of the decorations as you put the pumpkin together, but there is the chance for them to learn to transform a plain pumpkin into a character.

Chef Antonio Bettencourt of 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar decided to make a "goofy little witch" with his kids, Marco and Serena.

He makes a hat by cutting out a hole in the center of a round piece of paper. Next, he outlines the facial features with a pencil. Then, he uses a candy corn for her nose, pipe cleaners and a Dot candy for each eye and black licorice for her hair. For the mouth, he uses small white marshmallows for her teeth and a red pipe cleaner for the tongue.

Just remember to tell the kids not to eat the candy off of the pumpkin because it will have glue on it. You can put a bowl of candy next to it to avoid the temptation.

Try a stencil

Using stencils makes it easy to create a professional-looking pumpkin carving even if you have limited or no artistic ability.

There are hundreds of free tracing designs available for pumpkin carving online.

Here are a few tips on how to use a template:

Clean the pumpkin and wipe the outer surface clean.

When cutting the top, cut off the lid of the pumpkin at an angle to prevent the top from falling in.

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